QUO’s 2021 Chamber Music GayLa
QUO announces our annual GayLa! Circumstances dictated that we take a different approach to this year’s GayLa, and we are quite excited with the result: we have commissioned four members of our community to write new works for chamber ensemble. Each work will be premiered by QUO at our chamber GayLa.
We will be performing in-person with 14 QUO musicians and a limited audience back in our home at Holy Apostles Church in NYC. Although seating will be limited, we will also simulcast the concert on the Internet. So make plans to join us, either in-person or virtually, on Saturday, June 19th at 8 pm.
Here’s some information about the composers:
Michael Culver (he/him) started studying composition when he was 16 at Asbury University before studying under Thomas Pasatieri of the Juilliard School. His commission from QUO is his first from a large organization, though he has actively written for university ensembles. In addition to writing for QUO, he is currently writing a modern Requiem for orchestra and four singers, in memory of those lost to COVID.
Mohammed Fairouz, (he/him), born in 1985, is one of the most frequently performed, commissioned, and recorded composers working today. Hailed by The New York Times as “an important new artistic voice” and by BBC World News as “one of the most talented composers of his generation,” his large-scale works engage major geopolitical and philosophical themes with persuasive craft and a marked seriousness of purpose. Fairouz’s cosmopolitan outlook reflects his transatlantic upbringing and extensive travels. His catalog encompasses virtually every genre, including opera, symphonies, vocal and choral settings, chamber and solo works. Recent major works have included his “grandly ambitious” (Opera News) third symphony, Poems and Prayers interweaves texts of Arab poets Fadwa Tuqan and Mahmoud Darwish, the Israeli poet Yehuda Amichai, and prayers such as the Aramaic Kaddish. His fourth symphony, In the Shadow of No Towers for wind ensemble, about American life in the aftermath of 9/11 premiered in 2013 at Carnegie Hall was described by Steve Smith of The New York Times as “technically impressive, consistently imaginative and in its finest stretches deeply moving.”
Gilbert Galindo (he/him) is an award-winning internationally performed composer of classical music, an active DJ-producer, and experienced music engraver. He is also the Executive and Curatorial Director of NYsoundCircuit — a multi-media salon series — and has produced concerts and events in New York City for over 10 years. His repertoire includes works for voices, soloists, small ensembles, concert band, and symphonic orchestra. Groups such as Ensemble Dal Niente, the Lost Dog New Music Ensemble, the New Thread Quartet, newEar, Parthenia, and others have performed his music across the country and abroad, and his recording of “Almost within reach…” for violoncello and piano can be found on New Focus Recordings.
Radical self-love, compassion, laughter, and the drive to amplify Black art-makers and noisemakers comprise the core of Clifton Joey Guidry III’s (they/them) work. The NYC bassoonist, composer, and activist excels in many spheres; the San Diego Tribune hails their performances as “lyrical and haunting…hair-raising and unsettling.” Clifton is not simply an acclaimed bassoonist, rather they are also a versatile improviser and a composer of experimental and daring new works that embody a deep love of storytelling. Clifton’s compositions channel their inner child, in honor of their ancestors and predecessors. In every aspect of their practice, Clifton seeks to support, hire, and promote Black artists. In support of this mandate, Clifton has spearheaded Sounds of the African Diaspora, a competition and commissioning platform for composers from the African diaspora. This new initiative ensures that composers from the diaspora have access to the space, resources, and time necessary to foster new, innovative music.
In addition to the four premieres, QUO will also present Kleines Requiem für eine Polka by Henryk Górecki. Górecki was a Polish composer of contemporary classical music. According to critic Alex Ross, no recent classical composer has had as much commercial success as Górecki, who became a leading figure of the Polish avant-garde during the post-Stalin cultural thaw.